Cuban food is flavorful and unique. The island’s cuisine is a mix of Indigenous Taino foods, Spanish cuisine, African food, and Caribbean cuisine. There is also a notable Chinese influence. Tropical fruits and root vegetables are frequently used in Cuban recipes. Historic events, the people living on the island at any given time, and the tropical climate have all combined to create a delicious, unique cuisine. If you’re interested in exploring Cuban food at home, you’re in luck! We’ve rounded up our favorite Cuban recipes for you to try in your own kitchen. Read on to see some of our favorite Cuban recipes and get cooking!
#1 Cuban Rice and Beans
No list of Cuban recipes would be complete without this classic dish! Simple yet flavorful, it is truly a must-try recipe. Savory black beans are cooked with sofrito (a trio of green peppers, onion, and garlic popular in Cuban cooking), red wine vinegar, sugar, and olive oil. Fluffy white rice is cooked separately. To serve, the two are combined on a plate — for an extra-authentic taste, top yours with some sweet plantains. Ready to learn how to make this beloved Cuban dish in your own kitchen?
#2 Croquetas de Pollo (Cuban Chicken Croquettes)
Shredded chicken is combined with a nutmeg-spiked roux and cooking wine, then formed into logs, breaded, and fried to crispy perfection. This is a great way to use up leftover chicken. Bonus? This Cuban recipe is also kid-friendly! Want to learn how to make these delicious Cuban croquettes at home?
#3 Cuban Beef Picadillo
Ground beef is cooked with onion, garlic, red bell peppers, green olives, tomatoes, paprika, cumin, and oregano. The result? A savory, slightly spicy dish that’s perfectly flavorful and filling. The whole thing comes together in just 45 minutes and pairs well with a simple side of rice or Cuban beans. Want to learn how to make this classic Cuban dish at home?
#4 Lechon Asado (Cuban Roast Pork)
This is one of our favorite authentic Cuban recipes! Pork is marinated in a flavorful garlic-citrus marinade, then slow-roasted until it is perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The finished pork is then shredded, doused in the leftover marinade, and served alongside other Cuban classics like yuca and rice with beans. Want to learn how to make this flavorful Cuban dish at home?
#5 Carne con Papas
Warm and comforting, this classic Cuban recipe is made with slow-cooked beef, tender potatoes, and a flavorful beef-and-tomato broth. While it does take a little planning due to the slow simmer over a couple of hours, the results are well worth it. We highly recommend giving this popular Cuban dish a try at home!
#6 Cuban Sliders
These Cuban sliders are perfect for holiday parties! Sweet dinner rolls are stuffed with mojo-marinated shredded roast pork, sweet ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, and Dijon mustard, then baked until the cheese is melted and the bread is perfectly golden brown on top. Bonus? The whole thing comes together in less than an hour! Ready to learn how to make this delicious Cuban appetizer in your own kitchen?
#7 Pastelitos de Guayaba y Queso (Guava and Cheese Pastries)
Sweet, tart, and flaky, these Cuban pastries are as delicious as they are easy to make. Puff pastry sheets are stuffed with a savory-sweet mix of guava paste and softened cream cheese. The whole recipe requires just 4 ingredients and comes together in just 35 minutes! The recipe can easily be veganized and makes a great snack or a quick breakfast option. We highly recommend trying this Cuban dessert recipe at home!
#8 Batido de Mango (Cuban Mango Shake)
Sweet, creamy, and refreshing, this Cuban shake is also quite easy to make. Frozen mango, fresh banana slices, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, and shredded coconut milk are blended together until smooth. Then the drink is topped with more shredded coconut flakes for a refreshing beverage that tastes like a tropical paradise! Bonus? This recipe can easily be veganized by swapping the condensed milk for a different sweetener. Ready to learn how to make this popular Cuban drink at home?
This Cuban cocktail recipe requires just 3 ingredients: lime, cola, and rum. However, don’t confuse it with a run-of-the-mill rum and coke. The muddled lime really elevates the Cuba Libre and infuses the drink with a bright, tangy flavor. The name means “Free Cuba,” which is fitting because while there are several versions of the drink’s origin story, all agree that the recipe originated in Cuba in the early 1900s, just after the Spanish American War won the island nation independence from Spanish rule. We highly recommend giving this storied cocktail a try at home!